Provincial government delays ICBC rate application with losses growing

Attorney General David Eby has ordered a delay in ICBC’s rate application until February.

The rate application normally takes place by December 15 before the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) decides whether to approve possible increases.

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“After years of the previous government’s mismanagement of ICBC, British Columbians are paying too much for car insurance. We have much work ahead to get these costs down for families,” Eby said.

“As a result, government has directed a delay in ICBC’s rate application until February in order to do the necessary financial analysis of two sets of planned reforms currently underway to help reduce costs, and by extension, car insurance rates.” coverage of ICBC

Earlier this year, the BCUC approved a  6.3 per cent increase to basic insurance rates. ICBC does not publicly release changes on the optional side of car insurance.

Eby has stated the goal is to get ICBC in a position where the province can decrease rates for all drivers.

The insurer has lost more than $2 billion over the last two years.

The biggest changes took place on April 1 when ICBC capped settlements for soft-tissue injuries at $5,500. The province also created a Civil Resolutions Tribunal to address skyrocketing legal costs.

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The province also attempted to restrict expert reports in settlement cases but the B.C. Supreme Court ruled the changes were unconstitutional. The changes would have saved the province $400 million.

The legal challenge was brought in part by the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia (TLABC), which argued that change would lead to unprecedented interference and was an attack on the “most grievously injured British Columbians.”

“First, we are working on reforms to respond to a recent court decision striking our limit on expert reports and associated costs,” Eby said.

“Second, we are working on additional reforms in the tort system that will help to reduce costs and have a positive impact on any required rate changes.”

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